A split in the Federal Labor Party over whether to ban live cattle exports will severely damage one of the Northern Territory’s key industries if the motion is allowed to proceed.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the ALP members for Page, Fremantle and Lyon, from the safety of electorates that don’t rely on the industry, have all supported a proposed motion to ban live cattle exports when Parliament resumes.
“The Prime Minister must immediately clarify Labor’s policy on this issue, because the Greens with their new-found influence have been calling for the industry to be banned for years, while the Member for Page Janelle Saffin said she would not back down on the issue,” Senator Scullion said.
“It’s a simple question that Ms Gillard must answer. Which policy is the ‘real’ Labor policy?
“The Coalition has made it very clear – we want to grow regional Australia and vital agricultural industries like the live export trade of cattle and we will not support any ban.
“Food security is a real concern for our northern neighbours, and live exports from Australia relieve the demand for protein in our region. More cattle die in the paddock than do on the short journey to South East Asian ports.
“The cattle industry is the Northern Territory’s leading food production sector, and Territorians should be alarmed by the prospect of any faction of the Rainbow Coalition calling the shots when it comes to agricultural policy.
“It’s essential that we prevent this ban because the Territory is home to approximately 200 pastoral leases, most of which are large-scale cattle operations. Up to 350,000 cattle are sold to the live export trade each year, creating a plethora of employment opportunities, while the industry is worth in excess of $200 million.”
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Live cattle export ban will destroy key Territory industry 10.9.10.pdf